NHTSA — Electronic Stability Control Problems


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 1
Average Mileage:
71,705 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2005 Cadillac CTS brakes problems

brakes problem

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2005 Cadillac CTS Owner Comments

problem #8

May 232016


  • 74,000 miles


I was traveling approximately 65 mph on a 3 lane highway, while mainitaning a constant speed. Suddenly all power to the vehicle cut off including my power steering and braking. In a panic as I as coasting I was fortune enough to weave my way across 2 lanes to the side of the highway and roll to a complete start. After gathering myself I turned the ignition from the run position to off. I looked up and noticed there was smoke coming out from under the hood. I jumped out, lifted the hood, and heard popping and steam/smoke rising up from underneath the engine by the firewall. I pulled the oil dipstick and I was about a quart low, and it looked normal. I waited about 30 min and checked the level again with the same result. I then tried to start the vehicle and there was not response at all. I was unable to roll up my windows, and there was no power to display any information on dash. When my wife arrived I hooked up jumper cables and after a while I was able to turn the key forward to see the instrument panel. It said my battery was at the correct volts, and there were no warning lights on my dash. When I turned the ignition to start. My dash flickered rapidly and there was a clicking noise but the engine made no sound as if it was trying to turn over. So I called tow truck and got towed to my house. The vehicle was purchased by me in 09 with 32K miles. It had an issue where it was eating up to 4 quarts of oil every 1K-3K miles. I had purchase an extended warranty so bye 50K miles they tore apart engine replacing pretty much the entire engine. The car currently has less then 20K miles since warranty rebuild and I am at a loss. I put a new battery in it and that has done nothing to help. Still just makes a strange clicking noise. I have no idea what to do now. It is a 2005 Cts 3.6L base automatic transmission

- Cuyahoga Falls, OH, USA

problem #7

Apr 012015


  • 105,000 miles
When driving down the expressway my car stability system spontaneously engaged causing my car to suddenly jerk to the left. It felt as though the car dropped a little on that side and the tires locked up. I thought it was going to flip my car but luckily I was able to correct it in time. This has happened several more times since then, randomly, and at all different speeds, always throwing me to the left (into oncoming traffic!). my "stability system engaged" message pops up on the screen. I took it to a mechanic who reset the system but it has happened again just the other day with my wife in the car. Again, traveling about 20mph, the car dropped and veered to the left suddenly into oncoming traffic. The car is now at a Cadillac dealership, and we are waiting for an update. Research suggests that this is a defect in this model/year but why no recall? many lives could be lost because of this issue!!

- Center Barnstead , NH, USA

problem #6

Mar 252015

CTS 6-cyl

  • 109,524 miles
The traction control turned off when I was driving at about 45mph. I have loss of motive power and traction control will not turn back on. I know there was a recall for this same years powertrain seal going bad and think that this is a defective model that wasn't recalled. Please let me know what can be done about this serious issue"?"

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #5

Dec 302014


  • 50,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Cadillac Cts. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 70 mph, there was slight hesitation when the accelerator pedal was engaged. Additionally, the electronic stability control warning light illuminated. The failure occurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the failure was undetermined. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 50,000.

- Oak Park, MI, USA

problem #4

Apr 152013

CTS 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
Vehicle shutters/hesitates (like the brakes are engaging) and then jerks violently to the right into next lane. "service stability sys" message comes on and then goes off. Cadillac dealer keeps "fixing" it and charging. Problem returns again within days sometimes hours. Internet is loaded with folks with exact same problem and Cadillac says there are no recalls and they can't diagnose the problem unless they can duplicate the issue while a tech is driving it. I am afraid to drive the car. Another driver almost drove up on the curb when he had to pull away from my car moving unexpectedly into his lane. All of this information has been shared with the dealer repair department.

- Oro Valley, AZ, USA

problem #3

Nov 262011

CTS 6-cyl

  • 92,117 miles
In November 2011 I could not take the key from the ignition of my car.then in 2012 the same problem occurred on about the same month, costing me a little under $900 both times.the problem mention was stated internal failure of engine control module.the module computer chip, went out both times. Now I am having problems with the car shaking after refueling and the check engine light is on. I understand that there was a recall of this model car in 2010. I brought this N 2011 from Ford of rock hill in South Carolina. There were no mention of any recalls.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #2

Apr 162011


  • 58,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Cadillac Cts. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the stability control light illuminated and the system erroneously engaged. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnosis but no cause for the failure was found. The failure recurred. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure and current mileage was 58,000.

- Oak Park, MI, USA

problem #1

Mar 082009


  • miles
While traveling at a slow speed on a wet road, the driver had difficulty shifting gears. The vehicle began to shake violently and lunged hard to the right (the driver was unable to correct or control). For unknown reasons, the vehicle then accelerated to a high speed and crashed into two trees. The accident might have been initiated by a malfunctioning electronic stability control (ESC) system, causing unexpected braking action and pulling to the right. Other malfunctioning electronic sensors and/or associated vehicle control modules, known transmission problems (harsh or unexpected transmission shifts: Tsb 02-07-30-013E), or suspension components problems (rear axel or wheel hop: Tsb 05-04-114-001A) could have been contributing factors.

- Ashburn, VA, USA

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